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Monday, April 2, 2012

Chinese Art and Poetry: Chinese Poems with English Translation

Chinese Art and Poetry: Chinese Poems with English Translation

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11 ¶ (9-12) Sing ye to the Lord, who dwelleth in Sion: declare his ways among the peoples.


To what can our life on earth be likened?
To a flock of geese,
alighting on the snow.
Sometimes leaving a trace of their passage.

Su Shi (Su Dongpo)

The Way of Heaven is to benefit others and not to injure. The Way of the sage is to act but not to compete.
- Lao Tzu

I have often wondered when will China join the rest of the world. What I mean is this. In the Five Emperors and Three Kings period, not the mythological version but, twenty two centuries ago, the Chinese set a standard for themselves. That standard was that they would, to the exclusion of all foreign interference, remain Chinese no matter what. It is very important to note that with the exception of the very short Legalist school period for about 22 years at the beginning of real Chinese history then, Chinese culture has always been eclectic and syncretic. The Legalist school remained gone and forgotten until Mao under the training and influence of his Russian Communist Jew Bolshevik masters revived a super version of the anti-intellectualism and rigourous anti-religious and totalitarianist rule of the Legalists under his Chinese Communism with the most extreme version under aegis of the Red Guard in 1965-1968. That insured that any rapprochement with the West would be destroyed for a long time. Nixon, whatever else he was and did, had one thing correct, it was necessary for any kind of governing of the world that would preclude all out conflict, for China to be opened to the world. He attempted that at least.

Historically a typical Chinese anomaly in the midst of world events, is the Confucian bureaucratic victory over the relatively brief incursion of the Chinese to compete with Arab slave traders on the East coast of Africa, which resulted in Chin Ho’s fleet being ordered by the Emperor home to China and dismantled and the African continent left at that time, the mid 15th century, to the savage mercies of tribalist Arab slave traders and Portuguese and Spanish European slavers followed by the rest of the Europeans. For the record, Chin Ho’s fleet far out gunned anything any European or any other Navy would put to sea for a long time. Had things gone differently, I might be writing this in Chinese and reporting something very different ( 誰知道什麼會? [Who knows what is to be? ]). The reason the Emperor brought the fleet home was that the Confucians convinced him that it was enough for the Chinese to be concerned only about affairs within the border of China and not to involve themselves outside of that.

It is obvious that Ronald Reagan, George Bush Senior and Bill Clinton tried to bottle the Chinese up with Clinton turning that on its ear in empathic unison with GATT NAFTA and selling the store to them for a contrived pittance.

Most Chinese have no idea of their own history any more than anyone usually does about their own.

Let us hope they regain their culture that the Red Guard destroyed.

Chinese Art and Poetry

Sages do not accumulate
The more they assist others, the more they possess
The more they give to others, the more they gain – from Tao Te Ching Chapter 81

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